Trouble in Polyamory – When Love Goes Bad

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It is inevitable. We are all different, unique, and individual creatures with our own hopes, goals, dreams, desires, and ambitions. It is not inconceivable that the situation and relationships that work great for us now, soon begin to lose their luster, and the shine fades. The relationship may simply become too complicated. When your relationships are plural, this is ever more real a possibility.

Ok. I have already stated the fact that Ally and I are involved in several polyamorous relationships. These relationships have varying levels of involvement and intensity. From a deeply loving, non-committed quad, to fairly casual relationships with people that we care very deeply for. I will take a few moments and discuss my relationship with Helen, and what went wrong.

Helen and I met some time ago. An immediate friendship blossomed. Helen is intelligent, creative, and articulate. She stimulated me in so many ways. We spoke every day. Via calls, texts, or emails we were always in contact. We met regularly to see each other and shared so much in a very short amount of time. As our friendship grew, there was also clearly a physical attraction between the two of us. Let me just say neither Ally nor I have a problem developing relationships that are purely platonic, When Harry Met Sally be damned. So I entered into this with only friendship in mind. However, pheromones had different intentions. Our physical attraction was evident, and I had been clear about my and Ally's relationship from the start, so in due time my relationship with Helen became sexual. Helen is a wonderful woman. Brilliant, vibrant, and full of life. It was not long before I knew that I was in love with this woman.

I am always honest and straight-forward. When I knew with certainty that I was in love, I told Helen precisely how I felt. This was apparently more than Helen was prepared for. I do not know if it was the intensity of the emotion, or the presence of it entirely. I cannot relay exactly what she felt or thought, because for the first time, her innermost thoughts were not for me to know. The next time we had a date scheduled, Helen had to cancel. The next time, same thing. Our relationship had become too complicated for her.

We have discussed this disconnect at length; however, we still have not been able to return to the place where we were. I still speak with Helen regularly, and we even see each other occasionally, but it is a pale comparison to what we once had. Our sexual relationship has apparently ended as well. I value Helen as a person, and am willing to participate in this relationship to whatever level she is comfortable with, but sometimes there is trouble in polyamory, and love goes bad.

The good news is that unlike vanilla relationships, I did not have to go through this heartbreak alone. I have my beautiful and loving wife to console me and pick me up when I am feeling down. Which is the main reason why I wrote this entry. I consider this as one more example of why polyamory is the better choice for me. I have grown as an individual, husband, and lover. I have experienced wonderful relationships with several cool, happening, and like-minded people. Through breath-taking highs, and heart-breaking lows, my life . . . is being lived.

I tell you all this dear reader, not out of an exhibitionist desire to share the most intimate details of my life, but rather to show you that in this polyamorous world relationships can be even more confusing. While the human heart is perfectly capable of multiplying love, it is also capable of complicating very simple situations. As we move forward, we should tread carefully, slowly, but with purpose. The key to making this work is open and honest communication, with your primary partner as well as your secondary partners. We should never let the fear of what might be, keep us from experiencing how wonderful this can be.

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Jack is a thirty-something year old business professional from middle America. Jack spends his time balancing work, his beautiful wife Ally, three kids, his two girlfriends, Ally's girlfriend, and Ally's boyfriend. Life is grand.

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    I suspect it won’t be understood and/or appreciated in the poly world, but to me, having just broken up with a married ‘polyamorous’ man, this sentence jumped out at me: “The good news is that unlike vanilla relationships, I did not have to go through this heartbreak alone. I have my beautiful and loving wife to console me and pick me up when I am feeling down.”

    To me, this is exactly the problem with and for ‘secondaries.’ We know that whatever the problem, well, he’s got his wife. That made me ultimately dispensable. Ultimately not necessary to his life–more of a pleasant diversion. And my feeling is that now, tonight, while I’m dealing with it on my own, he’ll be fine. His wife is there for him, most likely blaming me for breaking his heart.

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